The best artificial turf is such an innovative product that you can find it everywhere these days – from front lawns to putting greens, dog parks, playgrounds and so much more.
And because you can install it yourself, synthetic turf has become much more accessible and popular than ever before.
But you know what they say: you get what you pay for. And if you really want to get the most out of your artificial grass lawn, you need to invest in the quality infill.
Getting the right infill material will ensure that the surface of your lawn is soft and comfortable while also providing decent drainage during rain events. On top of that, it will prolong the lifespan of your new turf by minimizing wear and tear.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about infill and why you need it for all types of synthetic turf installations.
You’ll also gain a better understanding of what you should look for when selecting a quality product and how to install infill yourself.
What is infill?
Infill is a granular material used to cushion your synthetic turf and provide stability. A layer of infill is a common requirement in artificial grass lawns because it ensures you get the most out of your investment.
Why do you need infill for the best artificial turf?
It’s safe to say that infill is one of the most critical components of successful synthetic grass installation:
1. Artificial Turf Protects your investment
One of the main reasons you need infill for artificial turf installations is that it will prolong the lifespan of your lawn and help you save money long term.
For one, it protects the backing from heat and UV rays, which can degrade the material and cause it to deteriorate far earlier than you may expect.
On top of that, infill also helps prevent early wear and tear by buffering the blades from high impact when you walk or play on your lawn.
2. Artificial Turf Enhances performance
If you’re installing artificial grass for any purpose, you want to ensure you get the most out of it in terms of both appearance and performance.
A quality infill product will make it feel more realistic, help you maintain even footing when you run or play sports, reduce injuries caused by falls and much more.
This is particularly true for specialized installations. For example, a putting green may not deliver a proper ball roll without infill.
Meanwhile, you may not be able to play successful soccer or football games without infill on your lawn because you won’t have the right level of traction and cushion.
3. Encourages drainage
There’s a simple reason why infill is granular – you want it to be porous enough to allow water and air through.
This is crucial because you don’t want your lawn to become a swamp when it rains. When you install infill into your synthetic grass, you provide the perfect medium for drainage.
4. Keeps artificial turf fibers standing upright
Synthetic turf fibers are very tough, but over time, foot traffic and activity can flatten them. Infill slows down this process by supporting the fibers from the base and keeping them standing upright.
5. Artificial Turf Reduces bacteria and odors.
Some types of infill also offer deodorizing and antimicrobial properties. This is especially useful for pet areas, which come into contact with waste on a daily basis.
Can you skip infill for artificial grass?
Sure, but you’ll probably regret it sooner than you think. Without infill, you’ll eventually encounter issues like:
- Premature wear and tear
- Puddles and flooding
- Uneven footing, slips and falls
- Odor issues
- Fake-looking artificial grass
Without the right infill material, you’ll be compromising the performance of your lawn and you might not even realize it.
It’s important to install infill as part of every synthetic turf installation because it will extend the lifespan of your investment and improve both its look and function.
How much infill do you need for artificial grass?
This varies depending on the specific project you have in mind. To determine the optimal amount of infill you need, you’ll want to think about how you plan to use your lawn.
Find out what types of activities you’ll be doing on it (if any), how often you will do them and for how long. All of these factors make a difference when you’re deciding whether you should opt for light, medium or heavy infill density.
In general, plan for about two lbs. of infill per square foot, installed at a depth of just below the fibers. This is generally enough for residential applications with average foot traffic.
When do you apply infill during artificial grass installation?
It’s one of the final parts of the process. Infill comes after you’ve installed most of the artificial grass system, including the base, weed membranes or padding and the synthetic turf itself.
How to Apply Infill: A Step-by-Step Guide for DIY Installers
The steps below assume that you’re already done with most of the installation, including ground preparation, getting the sub-base ready and with the synthetic grass already in place.
Follow this guide:
Step 1: Prepare all your equipment and tools for Artificial Turf.
To spread the infill quickly and efficiently, we recommend renting a drop spreader (or a lawn fertilizer spreader). However, you can also use a leaf blower and stiff brush for the job. Other tools that will come in handy are a rake, edger, garden hose and broom.
Step 2: Check safety precautions for Artificial Turf.
Before you begin, observe proper safety precautions. For example, keep children and pets away from the work area. Wear goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands.
Step 3: Brush the pile.
Using a power broom or a rake, brush the artificial grass so that all the fibers are as vertical as you can make them. This “opens up” the surface so that the infill can enter the gaps between the fibers more efficiently. The goal here is to fill each part of your synthetic lawn from the bottom up.
Step 4: Load up the infill for Artificial Turf.
If you’re using a drop spreader, fill it up with infill to a comfortable weight. If you’re doing this manually, we recommend using a wheelbarrow instead of lugging the heavy sacks around.
Step 5: Start applying infill for Artificial Turf.
Begin from one end of your lawn and go sideways, moving in parallel rows until you’re done with the first pass.
Step 6: Brush the infill deep into the artificial grass.
After your first pass, don’t begin the second one yet. Instead, brush the infill as deep as you can into the surface. Check the granules – there should be no infill resting on top of the synthetic turf.
Step 7: Repeat until you’ve reached the desired depth.
Repeat the steps above until you’re satisfied with the depth you’ve achieved. Remember, you can always add more infill on top of what you already applied.
Step 8: Check your work.
Once you’re done, the artificial grass fibers should appear vertical and consistent. If you see any flat areas, you may need to apply more infill.
Step 9: Sweep off the excess infill.
Finish by sweeping as much of the surface as you can with a stiff broom or garden hose. Properly installed infill should be barely noticeable, even from a few feet away.
Step 10: Let the infill settle.
Give the infill time to settle down deeper into the blades of your artificial grass. You can also hose down the area with water to speed up this process. Don’t use your new synthetic lawn yet – ideally, give it at least overnight before you do so.
Types of Infill Materials
Most people don’t realize you have a choice when it comes to infill. It’s not just about selecting the cheapest brand you can find because again, you do get what you pay for.
A low-quality infill will wear out quickly and you won’t be able to rely on it when you’re enjoying your lawn – you’ll probably end up spending more than you would have if you skipped the infill altogether in the first place!
At Artificial Turf Express, we offer several types of infill:
• Sand Turf Infill
By far one of the most popular infill products we have, sand infill offers the ideal combination of durability, drainage and softness you’re looking for in an infill. It’s made from silica sand particles which gives you a more natural turf feel underfoot.
• Walnut Shell Infill
Shell Tech infill or walnut shell infill has fantastic cooling properties, which makes it perfect for areas that suffer from high temperatures in the summer.
Its light brown color resembles thatch, which you may also want to consider for your lawn if you want an even more natural appearance.
• Envirofill Acrylic Coated Infill
One of the most advanced infill products you can find, Envirofill infill is eco-friendly and fits all sorts of installations, from residential to commercial.
It’s also ideal for pet installations thanks to its exclusive Microban technology that neutralizes odors and bacteria.
• Envirofill Blended
This blended acrylic sand infill is excellent for putting green installations. The finer mesh allows for true ball roll and boosts playability. As an Envirofill product, it also comes with Microban treatment.
• Crumb Rubber Infill
Crumb rubber is a popular choice for athletic fields and playgrounds because you get a natural shock absorption. It’s also a very durable infill material and offers superior drainage.
• Wonderfill 12/20 Green
This environmentally-friendly infill is composed of round-shaped, fine green sand. The shape makes it less abrasive than other infill types.
Wonderfill also has a special anti-microbial coating that prevents mildew, mold and bacteria from forming.
Terrific for the best synthetic grass for dogs in San Jose, Zeofill is considered the top infill in terms of odor control.
The “best” infill for your project depends on several factors. For instance, Zeofill is a smart choice if you have a pet who will be using your synthetic lawn.
On the other hand, crumb rubber or silica sand is excellent for athletic fields and playgrounds. Eco-conscious homeowners may want something like Envirofill infill, while Envirofill Blended is fantastic for finishing the best putting greens.
Frequently Asked Questions about Infill
Is infill safe?
Like any product, it depends on the manufacturer you’re considering. All Artificial Turf Express infill products, for example, are made from top-quality materials by world-class manufacturers.
That means they’re non-toxic, hypoallergenic and free from heavy metals. You can rest assured they won’t harm anyone who comes in contact with them- humans and pets alike.
Do you need to top up the infill for Artificial Turf?
Yes, eventually. Over time, the infill may become dislodged or come loose. This may be due to heavy foot traffic, pets running over the lawn repeatedly or bad weather that results in flooding. You can top up your infill as you need it. When you do so, you should also inspect your entire lawn and fill any bald patches you see.
Can I just use regular sand?
No. Regular sand is too fine, you’ll end up with a great deal of dust and you won’t get that soft or natural feel you’re looking for. Also, you won’t get the draining capabilities you need to ensure your lawn stays in good shape no matter what the weather’s doing outside.
Is it hard to maintain infill?
No. All you need to do is brush your lawn a few times a year. That will keep the infill from coming loose and you should be fine.
Can I install infill for Artificial Turf myself?
Sure! It’s not too difficult to install your own infill, as long as you do your research and have the equipment ready.
Buy the Best Infill for Your Artificial Turf Installation
Artificial Turf Express carries some of the best infill products available today. They’re ready out of the bag, safe for kids and pets and perfect for all types of synthetic turf applications.
Best of all, you can buy infill online and we can deliver them to your home or project site.
Explore our options, available in 50 lbs. to 100 lbs. bags:
- Sand Turf Infill (Silica Sand)
- 30# Sand Putting Infill
- Zeofill Deodorizing Infill
- Walnut Shell Infill (Shell Tech Infill)
- Wonderfill 12/20 Green
- Envirofill Acrylic Coated Infill
- Envirofill Blended 16/30
- #20 Crumb Rubber
Do you have a question about infill you need to be answered? Let us know in the comments section below!